Father of Slain Boy Speaks Out as Grandfather Fights Murder Conv - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Father of Slain Boy Speaks Out as Grandfather Fights Murder Conviction

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Joseph Rinehart Joseph Rinehart
Joseph Rinehart Jr. Joseph Rinehart Jr.
Peter Draper Peter Draper

His little boy was brutally beaten to death by his own grandfather last year, and now a frustrated father speaks out as his son's killer fights for a new trial.

Joseph Rinehart, the father of 2-year-old Joseph Rinehart Jr., called NTV News Thursday to voice his opinions on his former father–in–law's attempt at a new trial.

Peter Draper, 47, of Naponee, is trying to get his May murder conviction overturned for the beating death of Joseph.

Joseph died last April from severe internal and head injuries after suffering repeated abuse at the hands of Draper, according to testimony from Joseph's mother, Laura Rinehart.

Joseph Rinehart says Draper doesn't deserve another chance.

"He ruined so many lives with what he did," he said. "He didn't just ruin my life, he also ruined the lives of my children. They won't see their brother again. They've been a family this whole entire time, and now all of a sudden one of their brothers isn't here, and they don't know why, they don't understand why. He doesn't deserve rights."

The defense alleges that Draper wasn't given a fair trial because – among other things – the state was allowed to question his wife, Nancy, even though they knew she planned to invoke her Fifth Amendment right to not testify.

They're also arguing that the prosecution asked Nancy Draper several leading questions, "designed to incriminate the defendant," according to a motion filed Jan. 17 in Franklin County District Court.

A judge will consider new evidence presented Thursday, but a decision isn't expected for at least a couple of weeks.

If the motion is denied, Draper will be sentenced in August. He faces up to life in prison.

Laura Rinehart and Nancy Draper, who have already been convicted in the case, are also set to be sentenced in August.

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